Scores killed in Benue’s fresh communal clash

Some houses still burning on Sunday in Kente area of Wukari local government area of Taraba state affected by Tivs/Jukuns crisis. PHOTOS BY: Magaji Isa Hunkuyi

Scores of people have been feared killed in a renewed crisis allegedly between two communities of Kastina-Ala Local Government Area in Benue State.

Our correspondent gathered that gunmen, believed to be from both sides of the warring Shitile and Ikyulav tyev communities, attacked each other early hours of Saturday, killing many in the process.

A local council official, who declined his name on print, told our correspondent on telephone that some gunmen stormed Sati- Agirigi- a settlement of Shitile- about 1:00am and killed seven people.

The official added that in what may seemed a reprisal, another set of gunmen attacked mourners in Amaafu in Tongov community of same Katsina Ala LGA and killed, at least, 10 people.

“It’s obviously a renewed rivalry between Shitile and Ikyulav people in Kastina-Ala LGA. A few days ago, important personalities of the warring communities had held a peace talk and just when everyone thought there were no longer issues, we wake up to this sad happening today (Saturday),” the council official said.

At the time of this report, some sources said that causality figure was over 30 while other local sources put the death toll on both divides at 25.

Locals said that the attackers rode on several motorcycles and opened gunfire on their victims, killing scores and injuring many others in the process.

But the Chairman of Kastina-Ala LGA, Mrs Virginia Kpindi, told newsmen in Makurdi that more than three persons were killed and others injured were now receiving treatment in the hospital.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the command, DSP Catherine Anene, could not be reached for her comment on the development as calls and messages put to her telephone line were not responded to at the time of sending this report.

Similarly, the State Commissioner of Police, Mukaddas Garba, did not respond to his call.

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